LIVING YOUR YOGA

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Hi everyone!  It has been a while since I have been moved to blog but I had such an epiphany this week I just need to share.

As most of you know I am practicing and studying to become a Rahini Yoga teacher.  All that I have learned and experienced this year in the program has been truly life changing for me.  As my teacher says , “take your yoga off the mat”.  Live a yogic lifestyle.

So as life,ever changing, threw me yet another curve ball this past week, I applied the 6 Rahini Yoga Principles to my situation. We were being quized on them, and as I was memorizing them that is when the light bulb went off!  These apply to your Yoga Asanas (poses) but I will apply them here to life experiences.

1. Begin each day with a healthy Attitude, Awareness and Attention.   This means to be mindful.  Exude a healthy spiritual attitude.  Create inner awareness which you need to cultivate, and “begin each moment of attention wtih an equal moment of intention”!

2. Remember to breathe.   Allow your breath to solidify your foundation.  Allow the breath to move your energy and to be the link between your body and mind.  It will calm and clear your mind to be able to handle whatever is thrown your way, good or bad.

3.  Create your foundation.  This is the base of your support.  Only through this “groundedness” can you experience ultimate stability.  You may waver, be shaken, but you will never fall.  Yield and Radiate!

4.  Draw awarness to your core.  This is your center.  Activating this will get you into, allow you to hold and get you out of any situation handed to you.

5.  Draw awareness to your alignment.  Apply the first four principles and know that there are 3 bodies to align;  the outer, the inner and the spiritual body.

6.  Draw awareness into your experience.  After any life change or situation, good or bad, see how it feels.  This is different for each of us.  This experience represents a portion of self discovery and self reflection.  Tune in – Take it in.  A quote from my wonderful teacher, “after the pose, take notice, go with the flow, see how it goes”.  Apply that to whatever befalls you.Image

So this past week, as life threw me yet another “curve ball”, I applied these six principles with amazing results!

Is there something going on in your life?  Whatever that may be for you, take a moment, breathe and live your yoga!

Namaste

Mary Ann

Remember I am offering free health history consultations for anyone interested in needing support with lifestyle changes.  Visit my website balance4healthyliving.com and fill out a health history evaluation form to set up an appointment.  ” Could one conversation change your life”

What Am I Going To Do With the Rest of My Life?

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Did you ever come to that crossroad in your life, trying to decide what direction to take?  Have you had a major life shift that has left you lost, confused and even devastated?  Prehaps you have lost your job, ended a relationship, struggled with an illness or injury.  At first, these stumbling blocks or life challenges can seem insurmountable, but believe it or not, they can bring about tremendous personal growth.

The first thing, when something like this happens to you, is to always BREATH.  The second step is to acknowledge what has happened and the last step is to let it go. Remember everything you want in your life is just outside of your comfort zone.

So, what have you been struggling with?  What challenges are you facing in your life?

If you would like to share your comments feel free to post them.

NAMASTE

Mary Ann

GONE FISHING

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Just had to blog about my very first “real fishing experience” I had this weekend with my son-in-law Mike and my granddaughter Hannah.  When I use the phrase “real fishing experience”, honestly I had no idea what a science this whole thing is!

Firstly, let me just say what a bonding experience it was with the two of them.  They just couldn’t believe it when I woke up and announced “Nana wants to go fishing too!”  The were really excited that I could share in this very special event that the two of them really have a passion for.

There is nothing like the serenity and beauty of the ocean in the early morning hours.  As we glided across the water i found myself in a meditative state, my mind clear just settling into the zone.  I didn’t realize as we went further and further out into the ocean scoping out our fishing spot,  learning about the signs of nature that lead you to the fish.  I started to see how involved and challenging the sport of fishing really is.  My idea of fishing was; get in the boat, go a little out into the water, bait your hook, drop your line and wait.  Well you should have seen my face when Mike said ”  First you have to catch your bait.  That is how you catch a big fish.  Well needless to say, I caught the bait then a Hugh fish!  It was very exciting!  I add this to my list of trying new things.  You just never know if the experience you have will become an important part of your life.

Is there something you are just itching to try?  Are you procrastinating about trying it?  What are some of the blocks that are standing in YOUR way?  This is an exercise that you can try:  Write down a few things that you have been wanting to change or try.in your life.  Then write a list of what may be blocking you from trying them.  Then write a list of how your life would change if you made the change or had the experience.  You will be surprised how you can start to move the blocks and be on your way to a more enriched lifestyle through these experiences or changes.  You can use this exercise with relationships, career changes or simply to start a new hobby.  Whatever that may be for you,” micro movements make big changes”!

I would be interested in your comments about any experiences you may have had making a change or trying something outside of your “box”.

Happy Sailing

MaryAnn

Balance4healthyliving.com

Five of My Personal Top Health Tips

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Here are some of my personal top health tips to help you look and feel your best!

 

  1. Start each day with 8oz of Water

 

As soon as you get out of bed in the morning drink 8 oz of water.  Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning detoxifies your system and eliminates waste so that you can start your day with a clean body.  Continuing to drink water throughout the day gets your body dehydrated and regular.

      2.  Move your Body 30 minutes EVERY DAY

 

Moving your body creates energy.  It will increase your blood flow and transport nutrients throughout your body to keep it fed and vital.  Making exercise part of your lifestyle is the best way to keep you healthy and fit.  Find something that you love and is fun to do.  Something that you look forward to doing each day.  If you can commit to that you will feel invigorated and alive.

 

      3.  Take Time to Breathe

 

Most of us are in a constant state of “doing” all day long.  Our minds are constantly preoccupied with the next thing we have to get done.  Because we are ‘stressed out” all day long, it only leads us to unwanted weight gain, chronic illness and disease. Taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and center ourselves and just breathe, allows your body to rest, recover and release healing and health-building hormones. 

So find a quiet spot, close your eyes and take a deep breath, filling your belly first then your diaphragm.  Do this slowly, counting as you inhale and counting as you exhale to the count of 5.  Repeat until you feel your body totally relax.  Try to do this once a day.  You will be amazed at the reduction of your stress level.  You can also do this if you have trouble falling asleep.

 

      4.  Develop Healthy Sleeping Habits

 

A good nights sleep is absolutely crucial for good health.  While your body sleeps it releases hormones that allow it to heal itself and recover from illness and injury.  When you lose sleep your body is robbed of it’s chance to recharge and revitalize.  If you have trouble sleeping, be aware of your habits before going to bed.  Make sure to avoid all stimulants like caffine, sugar and bright lights.  Try to unwind at least 1 hour before goiong to bed to prepare yourself for a restful sleep.

 

     5.  Do Something You Enjoy Each and Every Day

 

We get so wrapped up in our busy lives that we forget to take some time for ourselves to do something we enjoy.  It could be something as simple as reading a book, calling a good friend, playing a sport or other group activity.  What do you enjoy doing?  You’ll find that if you do something that you enjoy every day it will lighten your mood and lift your spirits.  So even if it is just for 15 minutes, do it, you will be amazed at the results.

Are you ready to make a positive change in your life.  Visit my website Balance4healthyliving.com and fill out a health history form and schedule a free consultation with me.  “Can one conversation change your life”

Namaste

Mary Ann Paradiso, Certified Health Coach

 

I HAVE ARRIVED!

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The end, the process, the beginning.  I have finally arrived, to the beginning that is, to the next phase of my life.  I have heard that phrase “it’s a process” over and over this past two years  until I thought I would scream.  At first, from my wonderful, nurturing therapist, again from my beautiful, supportive girlfriends, from my yoga mentors and last but not least from the teachings of Intergrative Nutrition.

When my long term marriage ended two years ago it was a blow like no other.  It knocked me to my knees and literally took my breath away.  That was the end.  Then so began the “process”.  It started with my support system consisting of my amazing children, a very supportive ever present son in law, my beautiful grandchildren and a bevy of wonderful girlfriends there to catch me when I felt I could not go on.  Through those supportive loving friends I found my therapist and my introduction to yoga which would become the core of my healing.  I then began my studies at IIN.

During the past two years I have divorced, sold my home, moved into my first apartment, enrolled in IIN, began my yoga teaching certification and started my health coaching practice, Balance 4 Healthy Living, just to name a few.  I have grown more this past 2 years than I have in 40 years.  I have just graduated from IIN.  I am now offically a certified Health Coach.  I hope to complete my 200 hour yoga certification this summer.

Hence, my arrival to the beginning of the next phase of my life.  My goal is to take all that I have learned through this crisis and my studies and to “pay it forward” to my clients.

I want to thank all of you who have helped me through this long dark tunnel, and you know who you are.  I finally see it!  The light is there and today I walk to it and out into my new life with my head held high looking only forward.

TRANSFORMATION!

Namaste

Mary Ann Paradiso, Health Coach and Chef

Feelings, with a captial F

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Feelings, my good lord.  I can’t believe how many there are!  I have been experiencing a myriad of them this past year; maybe even this past week!  I think I have even created new ones!  At times, or at any given moment, I can find myself laughing or crying, happy or sad, anger or gratitude, sadness or joy.  Talk about ying and yang.  Geez!  These emotions are flipping around inside of me like a fish out of water.  Quite frankly, it can be exhausting at times.  For me this year has been one of growth.  We will call these crazy emotions growing pains.  By the way, I just realized that this is what they are.  Growing pains.  Like it or not, I am growing up for the first time in a very long time.

One of the exercises that I have found to be helpful for me, to calm and clear my head, are practicing the Early Morning Pages, by Julia Cameron.  They have really helped me to clear my mind of all the chatter, the deep thoughts that crowd out all of my creativity.  It is really amazing.  As a matter of fact, I did them this morning and this blog was born.   When I first learned of the Early Morning Pages, I thought to myself, ” This is a little out there”.  I decided to give them a try and was amazed at the results.  I discovered that after writing each morning, a burst of creativity would flow from me and some of my best ideas were born.

I would like to share this exercise with you this morning.  Each morning, first thing, you will write three full pages of your thoughts.  Have the pen and paper at your bedside.  Start writing.  No matter how trivial it is.  Just whatever is on your mind at the moment you awake.  By the time you get half way through the exercise, all of the deep thoughts that you didn’t even know you were thinking will come out on those pages.  You will be amazed.  Write no more than three.  When you are finished you will feel cleansed.  Your mind will be free and the creativity will flow.

So, why not give it a try.  Tomorrow morning, first thing, start writing.  You will be on your way to your authentic self!  I would be very interested to hear your feedback after you start this practice.

Much love and support

Mary Ann

Eating Right for Longevity

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Getting older:  everyone does it, yet why is it that some people seem relatively unaffected by it.  Could it be that good nutrition is the key to a healthier, longer life?

Getting older is often assoicated with the developement of one or more chronic diseases.  Does it really have to be that way?  More and more people are developing type 2 diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease at earlier ages.  This is because the risk for disease and disability increases with inadequate physical activity, poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle choices.

So what is a healthy diet anyway?  The most beneficial diets rely heavily on fresh vegetables and fruits; preferably organic and legumes.  These foods are naturally lower in calories and packed with nutrients.  Studies show that the antixoidants found in produce, legumes and whole grains are largely responsible for holding back the march of time.

While none of these foods is the “Fountain of Youth” including them on a regular basis as part of your diet can reduce the toll time takes on your body.

So eat mostly a plant based diet, include whole grains, limit your consumption of animal protein and remember to eat orgainic whenever possible. Be sure to eliminate all processed food from your diet.

I would love to share another simple, healthy and delicious recipe with you:

Seared Sea Scallops with Broccoli Rabe, Cherry Tomatoes and White Beans

Ingredients:

1 bunch organic broccoli rabe, tough stems trimmed and discarded

EOV

crushed red pepper to taste

4 garlic cloves, minced

15 grape tomatoes, halved

sea salt

paprika

1 15 oz can of organic white beans, rinsed and drained

1 lb sea scallps, patted dry

1/2 lemon

Preparation:

Rinse the broccoli rabe well.  Set aside.  Dry scallops and season with salt and paprika; set aside.

Heat 1 tsp EOV in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook, until golden 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in crushed red pepper, then immediately stir in broccoli rabe and salt to taste.  Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until broccoli rabe is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add water, a TAB at a time if pan becomes dry.  Stir in beans and tomatoes and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more.  Cover to keep warm.

In another skillet, add EOV and place over high heat.  Add scallops to pan making sure not to crowd the pan.  Sear them until just browned, about 2 minutes per side.  Squeeze lemon juice over the scallops, remove them from the skillet. 

To Plate:  Place broccoli rabe mixture on a plate.  Place scallops on top and serve.

Bon appetit!

Baby I’ts Cold Outside!

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So, have we all been enjoying the spring-like weather we have been having?  I know I have.  I don’t think we are ever ready when the temperatures drop into the teens or below.  When this happens our natural instinct is to hibernate.  This can sometimes make us feel closed in, edgy, maybe bring our spirits down slightly.

I find that going into the kitchen and creating a nice comfort food really is quite therapeutic.  Our bodies tend to slow down during winter months, so it is always nice to find a nice light recipe that on one hand doesn’t make you feel sluggish but on the other hand warms and satisfies you.  This can be maybe a nice bowl of hot chicken soup.

So this morning I left my nice warm apartment and ventured out to the market to pick up all of the ingredients for my chicken soup with an asian twist.  I would like to share that with you today:

Asian Chicken Soup

Serves 4 – Cooking time: 25 minutes  Prep time:  25 minutes

Ingredients:

8 oz shitake mushrooms

1 pkg dried porcini mushrooms

3 cups boiling water

1/2 cup organic chicken stock

1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs (organic, free range), cut into chunks

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin

snow peas

2 tabs shoyu soy sauce

2 tsp agave

seat salt to taste

1 tsp cornstarch

Preparation:

In a bowl, soak porcini mushrooms in boiling water for about 20 minutes.

While mushrooms are soaking, whisk together, in a large bowl, soy sauce, agave, salt and cornstarch until smooth.  Add chicken and ginger and toss to coat.  Set aside.

Thickly slice shitake mushrooms.  Drain porcini mushrooms into a bowl reserving the liquid.  Add to chicken along with shitakes, toss to coat.

In a large heavy bottom po,t add chicken mixture and porcini mushroom water to the pot along with chicken stock.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce and simmer for 25 minutes.

About 15 minutes into cooking time.  Start water for vermicelli brown rice noodles.  Bring water to a boil.  Remove from the heat and add noodles.  Let it sit for about 8 minutes.  Drain, rinse with cold water.

Place vermicelli noodles in four bowls.  Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

Enjoy!

For more of my delicious healthy meals, sign up for my cooking class workshops.  The first two will be held on feb 3 and feb 17.

Email me if you are interested at marya1022@aol.com for more information.

Much love and support:

Mary Ann

A Perfect Combination – The Mighty Mushroom and Farro

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Mushrooms are enjoyed for their flavor and texture.  Their flavor usually intensifies during cooking and holds up well to usual cooking methods.  I love adding them to my soups, stews and salads or serving them all by themselves.

Mushrooms contain about 80 to 90 percent water and are low in calories.  They contain little sodium and fat, hence, they are ideal for people following a weight management program or people who are hypertensive.  They are an excellent source of potassium, which lowers elevated blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke.

One serving of mushrooms provide 20-40 percent of the daily value of copper, a mineral that has cardioprotective properties.  They are also rich in riboflavin, selenium and niacin.  Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.

The most common mushroom consumed in the US are the white button mushrooms.  There are also crimini or brown mushrooms which have a more earthy flavor and the Portabella which have a more meaty flavor.  The shitake mushrooms have been used by the Japanese and Chinese to treat colds and flu.  Lentinan, a beta glucan, isolated from the body of the shitake, appears to stimulate the immune system, helps to fight infections and demonstrates anti tumor activity.

Farro is an ancient Italian wheat berry and barley look-a-like which dates back over 6000 years to Egypt.  It was introduced to Italy around 30 BC and became a staple there.  I discovered it this year and it has become one of my favorite whole grains.

Farro is high in fiber, vitamin E and immune boosting magnesium.  It is a complete protein, making it ideal for vegetarians and someone looking for a plant based complete protein.  It is a slow released carboyhydrate, which keeps you satisfied longer.

I have combined these two healthy powerhouses in a soup which is posted  on my website balance4healthyliving.com, for you to enjoy.  You can prepare the soup to serve immediately or eat it leftover, which only intensifies it’s delicious flavors.  It is the perfect soup to serve on a chilly winter day or night.

Love and support

Mary Ann

Moving Forward

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Did you ever wonder what is stopping you from taking the next step?  Whatever it may be for you; starting or ending a relationship, making new friends, learning a sport that may be intimidating to you, starting a new career.

As we go through our life, we become so comfortable in our space.  Staying inside of our box.  Playing it “safe”.  Never realizing how much we are missing by choosing never to venture out.

I started learning to play tennis about 10 months ago.  I had always wanted to learn this sport but was apprehensive, thinking I was not capable of learning, afraid of failing or feeling foolish.

I took the first step out of my comfort zone, walked into Sport Time and signed up.  I was so uncomfortable, but resisted the feeling.  Little did I know, that by taking this step, it was going to teach me so much more than just learning tennis.

It has taught me how to focus but not to over think.  How to let go of negative thinking because it hinders you from achieving your goals.  It has brought new friends into my life who are likeminded, and determined to master this sport.  But more importantly, just to have some good old-fashioned fun.  The laughter we share on those thursday evenings are priceless.

Last night, after 10 months of hitting this tennis ball back and forth, something clicked.  My game moved to the next level.  It was an amazing feeling.

We were playing 2 points to win, to get to the other side of the net.  I would always win the first point but not the second one.  I could not advance or move forward by doing this.  Interesting.  It had nothing at all to do with my skill.  It was the fear of moving forward.  Wow!  Another lesson learned.

Is there something stopping you from moving forward?  So why not take a peek outside of your box.  It may be uncomfortable at first, but you may be pleasantly surprised by what you may learn from your first step.

Much Love and support,

Mary Ann